It took my senior prom for me to truly appreciate those who had walked beside me in the hallways, shared drinking fountains, and whose eyes had read the same bathroom stall writing for these past four years.
I’d like to consider Saturday, May 19 a turning point. A day when was tragically separated from my best friends as we were dispersed among prom groups. And after the separation anxiety wore off, I embarked on a night to remember. But first, the separation anxiety.
Before our designated prom groups’ pictures, we, of course, practiced the ultimate cliquey act of best friends: gathered beforehand for our own photo shoot. There was absolutely no way we were going to risk dim lighting and a peers’ shakey hands to document our night with just one quick snap of a button. And as the muscles in our faces began to tremble, our cheesy smiles came to a close and car doors, headed of to official picture locations, slammed. We were off.
So following the best friend extravaganza, there’s no surprise that a major culture shock hit me smack in the face as I arrived at my groups’ picture location, not having anyone to immediately gravitate towards. No one to freak out with, no one to grab and jump in a circle as we obsess about one another’s hair and makeup. Nothing. In fact, if that prior scene had occurred, there is a high percentage that I would not have been befriended whatsoever, but I don’t want to give away the climax. Let’s just say, it was awkward: my date had yet to arrive and I took way too many pictures with my siblings.
It wasn’t until post-dance, down at the lake house where we resided for that weekend, when I was fully able to put my guard down. We were dropped down into a forest with no cell service--I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And so, I dove right in. I stopped dwelling on the fact that these people were all best friends and I had in fact been placed in the unfamiliar position as the outsider, and got to know them. This small gesture had taken me four years. We hosted dance parties on the balcony, shared endless laughs, and filled up numerous memory cards full of pictures--most way too embarrassing for Facebook and shall never be published. Our time at the lake house flew by--faster than I wish it would’ve. “I want to go back” has been a repetitive phrase this week.
Tuesday, as my best friends and I were reunited at school, I could not stop gushing about my prom experience, but most importantly, these new friends. They were great. Hilarious. And most of all, gave me the opportunity to appreciate those around me who I hadn’t necessarily gotten to know as well as I would’ve liked to. Throughout the night, the phrase YOPO was repeated as if there was a parrot in the room. YOPO this, YOPO that, meaning “you only prom once.” And it’s true. We only have one senior prom, and I couldn’t been more satisfied to YOPO with what were once just familiar faces.
Having a tight knit group of friends, well that’s great. But broadening your social network before heading off to start a different chapter in your life, well that’s even better.